Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Taking Ben Nevis in our stride

There are thousands of places you can go hiking in Scotland & never see another soul - the main route up Ben Nevis isn't one of them.  If you've never been up there let me help you out with a few pointers...

1. It's high. Very high. 1343m means you scale the height of Scafell Pike then add Latrigg on top, just for fun.

2. Not only is it a long way up, it's an incredibly long way down. If you think the descent from Fleetwith Pike is tedious try doing it 2 1/2 times.

3. There are no toilets or cafés up there. We found that out at the start when we overhead the guy in the visitors centre patiently explaining it to some would be hikers...

4.  If you're sticking to the main haul you don't really need a map.  The route is so well trodden & so popular you can just follow the steady stream of people - and if you lose sight of them just follow the trail of litter. Sad but true.

5.  Although the advice is to wear walking boots it's apparently OK to wear trainers, deck shoes, flip flops or skis...

6. Pace yourself - it's a loooong way. We kept getting overtaken by a group of guys who raced past, keeled over 50 yards ahead, raced past again,  keeled over again - you get the picture.

7. Be prepared for all weathers. We experienced hot sun, mist, rain & snow.

8.   Have wine ready for when you finish - trust me, you'll need it.

Race past & rest. Repeat.

There's no missing the route.

Spot the giant squirrel. 

At the top!

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